Today’s Question: When inevitably “media cards can fail” (and most likely with some valuable images contained on the SD cards that haven’t been downloaded, is there any software or technology available to salvage those images?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, there is software as well as services for recovering data from damaged media cards and other storage devices, including hard drives.
More Detail: In a previous Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter I talked about best practices with media cards and referenced the fact that flash-based media cards (such as the memory cards you use to store photos in your camera) will fail after a certain number of erase/write operations. In addition, cards can fail for a variety of other reasons.
Fortunately, there is software aimed at data recovery. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that all photos can be recovered. If there was a physical fault with a media card, for example, some of the images may have been corrupted, even if the files can be recovered.
For media cards one of the software options is RescuePro, which had previously been bundled with certain SanDisk media cards. That software is now available from LC Technology, and you can get more information here:
There are also data recovery services, which can recover data from a variety of damaged storage devices (or accidentally erased devices) including hard drives. For example, you can ship a damaged hard drive to such a service, and they will analyze the drive and provide you with a quote for the cost of data recovery based on what is possible. One option is Ontrack, which you can learn about here: